Foundation (Collegium Chronicles Series #1)

Foundation (Collegium Chronicles Series #1)

by Mercedes Lackey


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The long-awaited brand new novel in the bestselling Valdemar series.In this chronicle of the early history of Valdemar, Mercedes Lackey?s bestselling world, a thirteenyear- old orphan named Magpie escapes a life of slavery in the gem mines when he is chosen by one of the magical Companion horses of Valdemar to be trained as a Herald. Thrust into the center of a legend in the making, Magpie discovers talents he never knew he had?and witnesses the founding of the great Heralds? Collegium.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780756405243
Publisher: DAW Hardcover
Publication date: 10/07/2008
Series: Valdemar: Collegium Chronicles Series , #1
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds Of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at

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Foundation (Collegium Chronicles Series #1) 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 186 reviews.
Ryan_G More than 1 year ago
This book came out a while ago and I always meant to pick it up every time I went to the bookstore. Mercedes Lackey is one of my favorite authors and her Valdemar books are amongst my favorite books of all time. So when this book came out I was so excited that I started bouncing in my chair as I was reading about it. Then life set in and I didn't pick up until recently. This is the first book of a series that takes place between the Last Herald Mage trilogy (my favorite) and the stand alone book, Burning Brightly. Now for those of you who aren't familiar with the Valdemar books that probably won't make much sense to you. Just know that it takes place before most of her other Valdemar books. The book takes place while the new Heralds Collegium is being built along with a new Bardic and Healer Collegiums. The main protagonist is a typical example of what can be found throughout the Valdemar books. Mags is a young man who has been living, working as a virtual slave in gem mines. The description of his daily life is monstrous and this causes you to take an instant liking to him. Well that and the fact that he is generous and kind without thinking about it. That he in very small ways tries to look out for the younger children and thinks about others more than most kids in his situation would. The rest of the story is typical (by which I mean wonderful) of these books. Young man is Chosen by one of the wondrous Companions to become a Herald in the service of Valdemar (the kingdom they live in). The young Herald Trainee goes to Haven (capital city) to start training and is caught up in a situation that tests their skill and courage. I say typical because this is the way a lot of the books start. There is a reason for it though, it works for the type of characters that Heralds are. Heralds have to be tough, resilient, and kind. Now not all the Heralds come from a miserable background but would that make a good story? I'm looking forward to the next book in the series as I always love to read the history of a Kingdom I want to live in, about the Heralds I want to be like, and about right trumping wrong.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The Pieter family takes into their home infant orphan Mags, but not out of the kindness of their hearts they see the lad as labor toiling long hours in their dangerous gemstone mine seeking sparklies. They abuse the child as they do other strays that have no champion to protect ragtag nothings from horrific conditions. However, Mags is even lower than these pathetic strays as he is the Bad Blood offspring of dead outlaws according to the family since he was found in a cradle in a camp.---------- Everything abruptly changes for Mags when men on white horses ride into the Pieter compound they take the lad with them so he can train to become a Herald Trainee. However, the adjustment proves nearly impossible as Mags is unable to deal with, comfort or attend classes at the Herald's Collegium as his world was bread, water and the mine. However his companion Dallen helps him somewhat adapt, but this may prove too late as Mags is pulled into dangerous political intrigues by the Heralds divided in many ways but especially between tradition of one on one training vs. a classroom however the former mine worker finds the schism beyond his understanding except he is an expert on survival.------------- This is a great Valdemar tale due to Mags who may not comprehend the ways of the Heralds or their dispute, but knows how to live through anything. The story line is especially fascinating during Mags¿ time with the Pieters as ignorance is bliss since he does not know of anything but mine living. When the Heralds take him away as a student, he is shocked to have a consistently filled stomach and a new reason to survive. Although the story line is a bit thin in comparison with all the action of previous saga entries, fans will relish Mercedes Lackey deep fantasy character study with its analogy to winning in Middle East starts with first feeding people, then teaching them to fish in order to win their stomach, mind and heart in that order.---------------- Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have loved all of the Valdemar books and re-read them over and over. This book fits comfortably in with the other first-of-a-trilogy books and gives us another unlikely child hero in Mags that feels a lot like Talia's intro. A generally interesting, if predictably formulaic story. __BUT__ This is actually the first of 5 books and each is worse than the last! There is enough storyline for mabe two books, so there are long unneccesry descriptions, multiple flashbacks in the other books, and a lot of side stories to try to fill space. While this book alone is okay, you will naturally want to read the rest and find yourself sucked into poorer and poorer writing. If you are a Valdemar fan, I doubt you will heed this warning (I didnt!) but really.... Just skip them. I know you have faithfully read all the others but this set is just awful. M. Lacky should be embarrssed to have her name on them and I am annoyed that I bought them rather than libraried them. I dont know if she has ghost-writers or just doesn't care, but these books contradicted previous ones in some of the basic 'rules' of the world of Valdemar and dismissed others. I was disappointed by this first book but dismayed then disgusted by the others. I hope M.Lackey comes to her senses, repudiates these, and writes us a new trilogy that is as novel and compelling as the Arrows and Magic books to make up for this sham story.
Roxanne0506 More than 1 year ago
I've been an avid Valdemar fan since its first inception. I've read all of the books so many times that I've had to replace even the hardbacks occasionally! That said, this was a very frustrating book for me to read since it is obviously only the beginning of a new chapter in Valdemar's story.

As always, Lackey's characters and their backgrounds are completely engaging. The book draws you in and holds your attention from the very first page. However, as I turned the last page, I wanted to have a royal temper tantrum. "What??? Is that all???" And to add insult to injury, I can find nothing posted on any of Lackey's sites about this series, much less when the next book will emerge.

Therefore, if you're a reader possessing little patience, I would advise you to wait until the follow-up to "Foundation" hits the shelves before purchasing this book. If you can't wait however long that might be, don't say I didn't warn you! LOL

It's a great story and I can't wait to have the chance to read it from beginning to end... I'm certain it will be worth the wait!
Anonymous 6 months ago
It is a good thing I have the hardback of this book. So much has been cut including really important ones about the mine owner that the flow of the story is chopped to pieces.On the fun factor they left out Mags first encounter with bacon.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NightHawk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was fairly well written, as her books usually are, but never got to the point and was very anticlimactic.
PhoebeReading on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Let's get this out of the way: Mercedes Lackey is the comfort food of fantasy novels. I knew this even at thirteen, when the same relative that had turned me on to Anne McCaffrey's Pern suggested I pick up this similar series about magical horses. I inhaled the first two trilogies, reveling in the rags-to-riches stories about psychic steeds and their sometimes magically-homosexual riders; while I was pretty wrapped up the well-written characters (and the sex--Lackey writes sex quite well), I was pretty certain that this was trashy, fun reading along the lines of LJ Smith. After all, it didn't even have the thin veneer of soft sci-fi respectability that Anne McCaffrey's Pern novels had. I mean, come on, people: magic horses.I tried reading the later Valdemar trilogies--novels about Gryphons and giant talking owls--but they really lacked the luster of those first six books. It felt like the mythology of the series was collapsing on itself, burying the brightly rendered characters and feel-good psychic horse love. I wasn't really interested in the international politics of Velgarth. I was there for the white-clad heralds and their equally sparkly companions.I was pleased to find that in the unfortunately named Foundation (really, Misty, you should know that this title was used before!), Lackey returns to form. Sure, the plot of the novel feels a little recycled--poor kid is bonded to magic horse, poor kid goes to awesome magic school with said horse, poor kid faces some sort of political intrigue and overcomes humble beginnings. But I'd be damned if I said that I didn't read this sort of thing for exactly this sort of story, anyway.Our hero, Mags, is one of Lackey's better written scamps. His horrible upbringing is particularly horrible, but he's well-developed and has a very strong (and strongly accented) voice. The novel feels a bit over-populated--this is clearly meant to be the start of a new trilogy, and has enough characters to carry multiple volumes--but most of the supporting cast is likewise well-rendered. Lackey is pretty good at character development.I wish the same could be said for the prose and plotting. The style here is repetitious and, at times, overly simplistic. The conflict isn't really introduced until the last thirty pages and the novel ends in a particularly bad spot, with many questions left irritatingly unanswered. Granted, I sort-of-loved the rambling, pointless descriptions of Valdemarian holidays, but I really would have rather had, say, any of the conflicts of the first two hundred and fifty pages (like the fate of Mags' former masters, or his true identity) tied up instead.But still, this scratches the very same itch that Lackey's earlier books did, and I appreciate it for that. No new ground is broken, but at least the old ground offers a solid "foundation."
cfk on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Foundation is the first in the trilogy by one of my favorite authors. Mags, an orphan slave in a mine, is rescued, Chosen and transported into a whole new life in Haven. Beneath the grime and starved body resides a vital and well hidden mind. His 'difference' makes him a unique asset for Valdemar.
LJT on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lackey's earlier Valemar books are so much richer and better written. It was a disappointment. I think my third star is just for nostalgia's sake.
stars_2z on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Foundation: Book One of the Collegium Chronicles by Mercedes Lackey, the latest addition to the Heralds of Valdemar series, takes place during the first year of the newly created Heralds' Collegium. The newest Chosen, Mags, was an orphan forced to work in a mine finding "sparklies" along with other unwanted children when his Companion, Dallen, forces his way onto the mine owner's property, with the help another Herald and Companion, to claim him. From there, Mags begins his new life as a trainee, trying to find his place in an unfamiliar world. Unused to being shown kindness or having friends, he feels like an outsider among the many trainees (Herald, Bard, and Healer) crammed together in one building while two others are under construction.Mags becomes unlikely friends with two Bard and Healer trainees, children of famous parents, who live under the pressure of high expectations. He even inadvertently befriends a powerful councilman who decides to take an interest in Mags. Meanwhile, foreign princes have visited the city and have their guardsmen looking into Valdemar's weapons training.I have not read all of the Heralds of Valdemar series, but I know what to expect of a Valdemar book from the ones I have read. Foundation seemed incomplete to me. The climatic scene had little to do with the rest of the book, though I am sure it will be important in the books to come. Having said that, I did enjoy the novel. Mags is likable and sympathetic. His suffering and later loneliness due to the lack of family made me cry. It was also interesting to see the conflicts and issues related to the creation of the Heralds' Collegium. I am definitely looking forward to more of Mags and the continuation of his story. Maybe some of the questions left open at the end of Foundation will finally be answered.
david7466 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The writing style of this book is not even comparable to previous works of Lackey's such as Magic's Price series. The pace is choppy and the language is almost elementary in nature. Problems resolve unrealistically easily and the "hero" of the story is a teenager who goes from gem digger in a mine to star pupil in a matter of a week or two. It has some Harry Potter overshadowing going on that's almost laughable since it's not even close to setting up the relationships that abound in that HP series.
laranth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
About 1/2 the book should have been edited out as repetitive. And what's up with the random bad guys at the end?
wyvernfriend on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a Mercedes Lackey fan and this did hit a few of my sweet spots. The plot is somewhat recycled, kid brought from terrible start to new life with the heralds. This kid, Mags, starts as a miner under terrible conditions and his life changes completely when a herald with an extra companion turns up at the mine. Between him and his companion they have to come to terms with his past and try to make him a herald. He has to also deal with the issues of learning to trust and learning to live with people. He's got issues a plenty. This is also a time of change in Valdemar, when the collegium that we see in Talia's time comes out of the seperate colleges for bardic, healing and heralds that you see in Vanyel's time. It's interesting to see changes and how things are for people. I like Mags, though the constant accent stuff does sometimes grate, particularly when he starts to deliberately improve his accent. I liked it enough that shortly after reading book 1 I went out and bought, and read, book 2!
bethlakshmi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In my opinion, this wasn't Lackey's best - I was completely addicted to the early Valdemar books. But it's her best in a long time - I enjoyed this much more than most of her other recent works. She surprised me - I had thought the concepts of Valdemar were played out, but by choosing a point where setting is in transition, and using all new characters, she's started to build a new set of tensions that have me eagerly awaiting the next in the series.
jjmcgaffey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Me gusta. Getting back to the style of the first Valdemar series - Mags reminds me a lot of Talia, when he's not reminding me of Skif. It's really funny how the Weaponsmaster could just as well be Alberich - I don't think a name is ever given, but the (minimal) description and his behavior is so similar to Alberich...And a really odd thing - the King's Own's Companion is Rolan. But Sendar's King's Own lost his Companion when Sendar died and Rolan came out of the Grove then to Choose him (and then Talia). Do they switch off, then? Will Rolan die at some point between Mags' time and Sendar's? We never get a name for the King, either. It's kind of nice that Mags _doesn't_ end up dealing with the top people so much - even with the Councilor, he's mostly with the youths. And Lena and Bear are important (at least, Bear is and everyone expects Lena to be), but not ranking-important. A new view of the Heralds, from the middle layer (not a Trainee with no rank, not hob-nobbing with nobles, just a Herald...). Of course, in the next book or two Mags will doubtless get to save...some of the Heralds, at least, if not the world. But it still feels smaller and more comfortable than the grand sweep of Storms or Mage Winds. Looking forward to the next already!
meghancochrane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Mercedes Lackey is terribly good at the upswing of a book - developing the protagonist, bringing in new characters, starting off with a great plot. But then she just lets everything fall apart and it's very anticlimactic. This is exactly how I felt with Foundation and Bardic Song. The characters are great, interesting complex, the world and the collegium system is interesting. But the book really didn't seem to go anywhere because she fractures the end of the book into little vignettes instead of pushing towards a finale. Maybe it's editing, maybe it's that she wants to do so many different plots all at once that she gets confused. That and the protagonist is an unprivileged youth that finds their way to glory/wealth/happiness. I've read two and I'm not all the interested in reading another one.
LisaMaria_C on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you're already a fan of Lackey or her Valdemar books, this one will read like a dozen before it: a young person is abused and/or impoverished and escapes their desperate circumstances when they're chosen by a Companion (read, magical horse) and learns that as a result they will be trained to become one of the celebrated Heralds admired and respected throughout the realm. (Although Lackey certainly describes the desperate circumstances of "Magpie," a child miner, vividly and in a way that certainly creates empathy and liking for him.)This particular story is set after the Last Herald Mage novels with Vanyel and before the original set of stories with Talia. No character from either of those sets of novels overlaps here, so I think you could read this one without having read the other Valdemar books, but I just don't think this story is as strong as the others and thus wouldn't make a good introduction. It's set when the Collegium was first built and took over training for the Heralds and for those who are fans already that period is an interesting one to read about. But if you're unfamiliar with the Valdemar books, I'd start with Magic's Pawn or Arrows of the Queen. Although I wouldn't call this a standout among the Valdemar books, Foundation is an entertaining enough story I'll certainly be trying the next book in this trilogy when it's published.
timothyl33 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The first book of a new trilogy from the Valdemar series of books, this new 'Collegium Chronicles' series breaks new ground in the timeline of the history of Valdemar. Since it introduces a brand new period of time, prior reading of the other books in the series isn't necessary and makes a convenient introduction to Valdemar for new readers.Overall, 'Foundation' isn't really breaking any new grounds for either fantasy or the Valdemar series in that it follows the tried and true 'rags to riches (or Heralds)' formula. Also, the description on the book might lead the reader to believe that there's a major plot afoot. In actuality, the entirety of the book is solely focused on the main character's development as his world expands. But with Mags being such an interesting character, his story makes for an enjoyable read.
readinggeek451 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you like Lackey's other Valdemar books, you'll like this one. If not, not.This is the first book in her new sequence, about the founding of the Herald's Collegium, about two generations after Vanyel. As usual, the hero is a mistreated youth who is Chosen and finds friends and a purpose in life. Mags is an orphan who was exploited by a mine-owner who wanted cheap labor. He turns out to have strong Mindspeech as well as the requisite good heart and more intelligence than most people give him credit for. In other words, a typical Lackey hero.Lackey is very good at setups and characterizations, especially of misunderstood and downtrodden youth. Being the first book in a sequence, this is all setup and thus quite good. Here's hoping she doesn't blow it in the execution as she so often does. Regardless, I'll be reading the next book when it comes out.
SunnySD on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From literally working in a hole in the ground orphan Mags is Chosen and brought to the newly founded Collegium to learn to be a Herald. Although isolated from his peer group by his deprived childhood, Mags does make friends, among them some of the most powerful people in Valdemar.An interesting look at Valdemar's early days when Heralds weren't honored and revered by the citizens as they are (for the most part) later on. I hadn't bothered to pick this up after reading some lackluster reviews - I'm glad I did. If it isn't exactly Lackey's strongest work, it was interesting reading, and I'll look forward to reading more about Mags' adventures, as I'm sure he's bound to have some.
anotterchaos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Falls neatly into the Lackey formula, with an exception: nothing (ok, little) is wrapped up at the end. This is a change from her prior works, which, even though they were part of a trilogy, were stories within themselves. I feel a bit manipulated.
bezoar44 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read by this author, so I can't tell if it is typical, but this seemed more likely to satisfy a young adult audience. The world setting has some nice touches, and the story moves along quickly enough, but there's virtually no tension to drive the narrative. The main character - an abused orphan rescued from a sweatshop mine and sent to be raised as a hero - is thoroughly sympathetic, and consistently kind, humble, and successful. But there's never a sense that he has a dark side resulting from the abuse he's suffered, just fears repeatedly eased by his mind-reading horse-friend. There's no conflict with external forces - other characters, society generally, or nature - that isn't solved within a paragraph by the operation of one deus ex machina or another. It's a fast read, and enjoyable as wish fulfillment; but it's also bland. The book doesn't stand on its own; while a couple plot threads are resolved just before the end of the book, the resolutions are abrupt and poorly explained. Several other threads aren't tied up at all; perhaps they are supposed to provide rising action into the rest of the series. Given how prolific this author has been, she may be right in assuming anyone who picks up this book is already a fan and plans to follow the series. I probably will, just to see if the protagonist develops some depth.
dasuzuki on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was so excited when I saw that Lackey finally came out with a new book in her Valdemar series. I¿ve been waiting years for a new full length Valdemar book and was disappointed when she wrote on her website she was taking a break writing her Valdemar books especially since I haven¿t enjoyed any of her other new books. While I thought Foundation wasn¿t bad it¿s definitely not going to be one of my favorites that I read and reread again and again. Lackey seems to be setting it up for a series, maybe a trilogy, like her other books. So hopefully book 2 will be better. I definitely like Mags¿ character and will be interested to find out his history and why he was labeled as ¿bad blood¿.I am also interested to see if Cole Pieters will be back in a later book. You never really hear what happens to him and Mags keeps worrying that Cole will be back to get his revenge. It¿s hard to say if that thought was just a part of his character and his fear is supposed to go away as he becomes more comfortable as a Herald or if it is a sign of things to come. So while I give this book only a 3 I will definitely be waiting for the next book to find out what happens.
jjmachshev on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I'm a Mercedes Lackey fan from way back. I devoured her 'Magic' trilogy and haven't looked back since. This is one fantasy author I continue to buy as soon as her books hit the shelf because I know the story will pull me in and have me cheering for the hero or heroine. Her newest "Foundation" is no exception and as a bonus, it's set in Valdemar!Mags is an orphan who ended up in the hands of a greedy cruel mine owner as a baby. His work in those mines began as soon as he was old enough to stand and hasn't stopped since. The conditions are harsh and survival is the only thing Mags has ever known. Until the day a beautiful white horse arrives and 'claims' him.Now, Mags is learning that the world is actually much bigger and much different than he could ever have dreamed. But his fears and lack of knowledge cause him to become a quiet observer of his new life. With the help of his Companion and a few new friends, Mags will needs all his old skills and the new ones he's learning to help foil a plot against Valdemar.If you love animals, magic, and fantasy, you really owe it to yourself to read some Lackey's work. Her realm of Valdemar stories pull on all your emotions, and although the good guys win, it's not always without loss...just like real life. And some of her stories do include some topics that I wouldn't recommend for young children (in her first series, the hero is gay which is part and parcel of the plot), but older teens could certainly deal with her books. Wile her stories are fantasy, they also deal with many of the same things we all face in life (hopefully on a much smaller scale). Things like: fear, triumph, love, loss, death, war, peace, being different, cruelty, sacrifice, bravery, and courage in the face of impossible odds. I enjoyed her stories in my 20s, my 30s, and still now in my 40s. They are timeless and whichever world she uses, they still speak to living today.